September 28, 2006

No Vote on the Bolton Nomination Before the Election

Carroll Andrew Morse

The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) is reporting that the nomination of John Bolton as United Nations Ambassador will not be sent to the Senate floor anytime soon...

John R. Bolton's quest for a longer lease on his temporary job as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations remained elusive Thursday as the Senate shied away from a vote to confirm him.

Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the Senate likely would recess later this week without voting on his nomination....

Lugar said that if one Democratic senator were to step forward and support Bolton, he might be able to set a committee vote before the recess. In the meantime, Lugar added, Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a Rhode Island Republican, is holding up the nomination with questions about the Bush administration's Middle East policy.

Specifically, Chafee wants the administration to restrain Israel from expanding settlements in Palestinian areas on the West Bank. Bolton, as U.S. ambassador, has taken a strong and visible role in across-the-board support for Israel.

The Senate could still vote to confirm Bolton, after its electoral recess, when it reconvenes in November. However, Bolton's best scenario for confirmation appears to be for Senator Chafee to be defeated in November's election while the Republicans remain control of the Senate, allowing a different Republican Senator to take a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

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I'm stunned and amazed that Chafee would do something like that! (Of course, I'm not silly!). It's textbook Chafee ... why do now what would be more politically advantageous to put off until later.

If there are still any Republicans on the fence about Chafee needing to go, this should seal the deal for them.

Posted by: Will at September 28, 2006 6:38 PM

This is classic lincspin. Based on his imbecillic waffling over the last 7 years, I can't honestly say whether I think he a) likes bolton but is afraid whitehouse will rip him apart b) really is as anti american as the UN and thinks bolton is bad or c) just doesn't know what to do. Whatever the case, HE IS NOT A SENATOR. I agree with Will. Republicans and the Republican party are better off with him horseshoeing!

Posted by: Stretch Cunningham at September 28, 2006 6:52 PM

I'm disappointed in Linc - I wish he'd just stand up and reject this thug.

Posted by: rhody at September 28, 2006 11:57 PM

Don't worry, if it looks like he can't get Bolton confirmed by the Senate, President Bush will simply recess-appoint him to the post again.

If the Democrats gain control of the Senate, Bush will probably be recess-appointing all his nominees.

Posted by: Newport 9 at September 29, 2006 12:58 AM

Rhody, in the political realm the word 'thug' is normally used to describe undemocratic criminals and oppressors. For instance, 'thug' accurately describes Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Robert Mugabe, Mohammed Khatami, Osama bin Laden, Daniel Ortega, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and the Left's greatest living hero; Fidel Castro.

As far as political organizations go, the UN is an umbrella organization for thugs, mass murderers, those who rob their people into poverty and misery and those who despise the U.S. and, of course, Israel. Were it not for the legitimizing soapbox the UN provides Third World thugs would be left to spew their venom and invective in relative anonymity. (Who can forget thug Arafat's sickening, pistol-packing performance in front of the 'civilized' 'World Body.')

John Bolton does not fit the qualifications for being a thug. Quite the contrary, he is an anti-thug, since his reactions to the aforementioned real thugs, and his attempts to clean up the ineffective,corrupt, moral cesspool that is the UN show him to be a righteous, honest man of great courage.

Leftists like you hate him because his honest assessment of the UN highlights what a truly despicable, unjust place it is. And that assessment destroys the credibility of those who trumpet the UN and the leftist NGOs that orbit it, as the world's best hope for peace and the attainment of 'social justice.'

The Left's moral paradigm?--the UN.


Posted by: Rocco DiPippo at September 29, 2006 8:24 AM

Excellent writing, Rocco! Bolton has been very impressive in office.

Since Chafee's primarily catering to non-Republican voters between now and election day, a yes vote on Bolton would probably not be seen as a good thing by them -- and I'm fairly certain he made that clear to Lugar et al, which is why the vote was delayed.

My current best guess is that IF Chafee gets reelected, he'll let the Bolton vote go through committee as a sort of "thank you" to the national Republicans for coming to his rescue, and then vote against it on the floor, when his vote is once again irrelevant. When he has what he perceives as leverage, he's somewhat known for trying to get something in exchange for his cooperation (in another context, that might be considered extortion).

If you are looking for consistency about how Linc Chafee votes, it is could best be said that he applies an inconsistent or complete lack of use of any core principle to determine how he votes, except that he often tries to assuage everyone, thereby pleasing no one, and by taking as long as possible to do so.

Posted by: Will at September 29, 2006 9:51 AM


Great comment. The only thing I would add is Omar Hasan al-Bashir, President of Sudan, to your list of thugs.

Just this week, Bashir’s government blocked UN attempts to put a more effective peacekeeping force into Darfur. He must be laughing his a** off at the Americans that want to punish their own Ambassador for being too tough with words, while his own government carries out mass-murder.

Posted by: Andrew at September 29, 2006 10:35 AM

Since Bolton seems to regard the job of ambassador as one requiring him to carry a flamethrower, I stand by my use of the word "thug" to describe him.
The word has been used by both sides of the political spectrum, and I don't consider it exclusive for use on Republicans and their confederates (Strom Thurmond before he turned Republican, John Silber, Ralph Mollis, to name but a few).

Posted by: Rhody at September 29, 2006 11:31 AM

Rhody, it's not that Bolton "seems to regard the job of ambassador as one requiring him to carry a flamethrower," he simply has enough common sense to realize that a flamethrower is the most effective tool to use when burning rats out of a nest.

Posted by: Rocco DiPippo at September 29, 2006 9:36 PM

Like it or not, Rocco, we set an example for the world. If somebody like Bolton is representing us at the UN, we should not be shocked when other nations are represented by folks of slightly less than ambassadorial temperment. I'm afraid we'll eventually reap what we've sown here.
Plus, Bush going to the mattresses for a recess appointment is setting a precedent you know (and probably won't be too keen on seeing) a potential Democratic successor in the White House will follow.

Posted by: Rhody at September 30, 2006 1:11 AM

I get your drift, Rhody. We would be better off having a man who dresses well, speaks beautifully, lies pathologically and accomplishes little as our UN Ambassador.

Perhaps we should grant Dominique de Villepin U.S. citizenship and give him the job. He possesses the right qualifications to satisfy both the Left and Linc Chafee.

Posted by: Rocco DiPippo at October 2, 2006 1:13 AM

Rocco, I don't envy your choice Nov. 7. How badly do you want to keep the Senate in GOP control?

Posted by: Rhody at October 3, 2006 11:31 AM